I recently heard this statement in a sermon:
“I wasn’t dressed for where I was…I was dressed for where I was going!”
How many times have I been dressed in a tutu in the bait and tackle shop, or in a princess dress in Los Angeles International Airport, or as an 18th century street urchin in a movie theater, or as a Colonial girl in downtown Washington D.C., or in a ball gown in a chick-fil-a, or in onesie footie pajamas in…lots of unconventional places (really though…is there a conventional place to wear a onesie?)? I get double and triple takes, confused glances, odd looks (and children asking to take pictures with me) because the people around me don’t know where I’m going.
They don’t know that I’m dressed in a tutu at the bait and tackle store because I’m headed to our kindergarten Valentines Day celebration (where tutus are most necessary).
|(This isn't in the Bait and Tackle Store, but it was that same day)|
They don’t know that I’m dressed in a Princess Belle dress in LAX because I’m headed to the International Sweet Adeline competition in which my quartet members and I are all dressed as four Disney princesses for our competition package.
|(On the airplane flying to the competition on those princesses dresses)|
|(Pumping gas before the airport...even princesses have to pump their own gas apparently)|
They don’t know that I’m dressed as an 18th century street urchin in the movie theater lobby because I’m headed to the midnight showing of Les Miserables.
|(Woman in the movie theater lobby: "Are you Amish?"|
They don't know that I'm dressed in a white dress with a blue satin sash along with a whole gaggle of other girls because we're on our way to the Sound of Music Sing-a-long at the Hollywood Bowl.
They don't know that I'm dressed from head to foot in shark attire because I'm headed to a party for the beginning of Shark Week on Animal Planet.
They don't know that I'm dressed like a cow because I'm going to Chick-fil-a to get free food.
They don’t know that I’m in oncsie footie pajamas because… ok there’s no good reason for the oncsie, it’s just the most comfortable article of clothing ever!
They can only see how bizarre I look in my current surroundings because they don’t know where I’m headed. But I do…and so does God.
How often do Christ followers get weird looks or stares of disbelief or shaking heads because of what we wear? I don’t mean what we’re actually wearing, although those “Jesus is my homeboy” t-shirts deserve some odd stares! I’m talking about what else we’re wearing…kindness to enemies, mercy instead of revenge, forgiveness in the face of injustice, hope instead of fear, joy in all circumstances, belief in the impossible. I’m sure Jesus got weird looks daily because how that man acted was, to be quite honest, NOT normal! Asking God to forgive the people who are literally killing you is not normal! The love He chose to dress himself in was not normal and it looked odd to those around him, but only because they didn’t understand that He wasn’t dressed for this place, but rather for where He was going…heaven.
What pains me about Christ followers, including myself, is that there are times when we don’t stand out at all; we don’t look different; we go about our merry way through the bait and tackle shop, the airport, the restaurant, the movie theater, looking exactly like everyone else, eliciting stares from no one. That’s when something’s wrong. The kind of life that we have been called to as followers of Jesus doesn’t have to be loud or showy or crazy, but if we’re truly following this God-Man, loving as He loved and living as He lived, how could our lives not make others take a second glance. He walked where others wouldn’t. He healed what others couldn’t. He touched the untouchable and unclean. He talked to and sat with those “beneath” Him. He served when others should have been serving Him. He turned the broken into beauty and the lost into loved. He called down forgiveness on those who hated Him when He could have called down an army. In following such a man, how could we possibly live a life that fits in so well when all he did was stand out?
As Christians we can dream big, dream impossible, and to an onlooking world we may look crazy, but we’re dressing our bodies and minds not for where we are, but for where we’re going. We may not be there yet, but we serve a God who makes the impossible possible, and we know where we’re going…ever onward, becoming more and more like Him and more and more who he has created us to be as we walk towards a glorious eternity.